Usage Tips \ Washers \ Hot or Cold Water for Stains? (Water Temperature Guide)

Hot or Cold Water for Stains? (Water Temperature Guide)

Did you know water temperature matters depending on the type of clothing stain? Use this guide to quickly know when to use hot or cold water when washing.
Do you know how to get a stain out of your favourite shirt? We’ll give you a hint. Water temperature is key—but not all stains are created equal. Your first instinct may be to go with hot water, and you might be right. However, hot water will set some stains, making them near impossible to get out. Here’s a full guide on what water temperature to use depending on the type of stain.

Wash Temperatures for Common Stains

Most stains require a cold-water rinse followed by a warm-water wash, including:
  • Red wine
  • Jellies, jams, and berries
  • Mud
  • Perspiration
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Chocolate
  • Baby food
  • Coffee
Less often, a hot-water or cold-water wash alone is recommended, but the type of fabric matters. Some stains, such as ink, may also require pre-treatment.
These stains respond best to hot water:
  • Lipstick
  • Grass
  • Ink
  • Grease (cotton and synthetic fabric only)
  • Oil (all fabric types)
These stains respond best to cold water:
  • Blood
  • Toothpaste
Grease stains on wool, knits, and other delicates require a warm-water pre-soak, followed by a cold-water wash.

Why Does Water Temperature Matter for Stain Removal?

Certain substances dissolve in hot water, while others are essentially “cooked” in by the heat. Excluding a few outliers, the best approach is often to rinse in cold water and then wash in hot water.
Regardless of what water temperature you decide to use to help target stains, remember to check the tag for care instructions to ensure using hot or cold water won’t ruin the item.
Check out this guide from Maytag to learn more about pre-treating and removing different types of stains.

Want Dual-Temperature in One Load?

Dual-temperature functionality boosts stain-fighting performance wash cycles with the versatility of both hot and cold water. An initial cold-water wash and soak helps lift out many stains, while the subsequent hot water wash dissolves those that remain. The cold cycle also helps prevent stains from setting permanently, allowing the hot wash to do its work.
One dual temperature feature we like is the Maytag Extra Power button, which allows you to take advantage of dual-temperature wash functionality while delivering the most powerful stain-fighting and cleaning power on the market. You can couple this dual-temperature functionality with Swash™ Liquid Laundry Detergent to deliver a one-two punch to hard-to-remove stains, powered by Whirlpool’s 100 years of laundry experience.
Did you find the article helpful?
You already voted!

Related Articles

The Appliance Pros

Share this article

This will come in handy.

Get monthly answers to household challenges, and more from Appliance Answers and Whirlpool Canada.*

Popular Articles

The Built-In Kitchen Appliance Guide

If you’re moving into a new home or need to upgrade your kitchen appliances, you may be considering built-in kitchen appliances. Or perhaps you’re wondering:

Freestanding vs Slide-In Range

When moving into a new home or remodelling an old kitchen, one of the key areas to look at is the cooking appliances. Ranges, or

Electric vs. Gas Ranges

There are two main options to consider when buying a new stove (range): gas and electric. But how can you tell which is better? Gas

Ask Our Experts

If our troubleshooting guides are not helping, it’s best to connect with qualified professionals to service your appliance.

You can contact our trusted partner, The Appliance Pros, if you need service for a Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, JennAir, Amana or Inglis appliance.

If you have a question about a specific product, please contact your appliance manufacturer.
For the following brands, you can use the form below and one of our experts will reach out to you with an answer within 48 hours: Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, JennAir, Amana, Gladiator, Everydrop, Affresh, Inglis.

Fix it, clean it,
adjust it, love it.

Sign up for monthly tips & tricks and more from Appliance Answers and Whirlpool Canada.*
By closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our Privacy Notice unless you have disabled them.